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Sonoma poised to ban leaf blowers

The Sonoma City Council on Monday will take up a draft ordinance that bans gas-powered leaf blowers in the city and makes it a crime to blow debris onto a neighboring property.

Sonoma is poised to become the first city in Sonoma County and one of few nationwide to enact a ban on gas blowers.

The devices have drawn complaints about noise, gas emissions and particulate air pollution. But critics of a ban warn that it could increase landscaping costs and prove unenforceable.

The city's Public Works Department also has outlined concerns about a ban possibly increasing the amount of time it takes workers to clear away debris. It would cost the city an estimated $10,000 to convert to electric blowers.

The city's current rules restrict the use of all leaf blowers in residential areas to between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and in city parks on the same days between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Those hours would remain unchanged under the proposed ordinance.


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